Monday, June 6, 2011

Art Journaling

I mentioned in my last post that I was developing a workshop on Art Journaling for Tweens and Teens and that, in preparation for that, I was working on an art journal myself.

I started out thinking that I was just going to make an example journal. Something to show the kids that had different examples of techniques they could use in their own art journals. As usual for me, I've exhaustively researched the topic and have way too much material for one simple hour and a half long workshop for kids. But working on this makes me realize that I love doing this, putting together workshops on how to do stuff. I've done several now, artist trading cards and mosaic making, as well as more boring topics, and I like to think I do a comprehensive job of providing my students with the basics to go and have fun on their own.

When I first graduated from design school, I toyed with the idea of starting a studio space that could be used for classes as well as work space for design students who couldn't afford their own studio space, but needed a place to spread out and work on art projects. I still think that's a great idea, although, I have no idea how to go about creating such a thing without a lot of money, which is, unfortunately, my perpetual stumbling block.

But, since I always overthink things, maybe I can start smaller, by creating a series of classes and get a good curriculum going and then looking for space. I've got quite a list of potential classes and I've even developed the actual format for many of them.

I know this is not a new idea, many artists do this, and quite successfully. What makes it novel to me is that I have a great deal of difficulty figuring out how to translate a great idea into a great idea that will make you money. Something I'll have to work on if I plan to oh, I don't know, ever make money.

but I've strayed some from my initial point, which is this. Art Journaling is completely addictive. Who knew? I find myself pulling out my art journal at odd moments and writing down something and then drawing in little illustrations. I documented and illustrated making Mac & Cheese for my son's birthday dinner. Who does that? I guess I do, but it was never something I would have thought to do before. The creative freedom unleashed through this relatively simple exercise has completely taken me by surprise. A very pleasant, very productive surprise.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Book of Lists

Almost exactly three years ago I wrote a blog entry about Lists. I mention this not because I remembered that I wrote a post about lists, but because I was reading back through old posts and I found that one. (I know there's a way you can link your entries to other entries, but I don't know how to do that and I'm not able to take the time to learn it now, mainly cuz I have to go shower but I'm going to write this post first.)

In that post I vowed to make more non-shopping lists. And then I didn't. For three years. But a few weeks ago, as I began to develop a workshop for tweens on Art Journaling, I began a small art journal and I called it "The Book of Lists". Right now it has only one list in it, but I'm working on it, okay? It's a work in progress.

And I have a list of lists to put in it. And that list is a pretty good non-grocery list in and of itself. I was in a hospital cafeteria. (Minor procedure for husband - one of those - "Oh you're 50? Here, take this test.) I had some time to kill (er, I mean, some time to spend) and I knew, even then, that I was going to be working on an art journal as I developed this workshop. But the problem was, in all the useless things I'd brought along to keep me occupied (I need more toys than a 3 year old on a bus ride to Mississippi) I couldn't find the notebook I'd decided I was going to journal in. So I did what I often do in these circumstances. I pulled out my trusty plastic organizer (10 pockets, fold over top with elastic and button closure, filled with handy colorful 3x5 index cards - I like index cards almost as much as I like pens, funky magnets and decorative pushpins.) and started to make a list of lists that I should put in my Book of Lists.

Pretty meta hey?

So I know you're wondering what is this metalist of lists. Not in order of importance.

1) Super powers I'd like to have
2) My personal 7 wonders of the world
3) My favorite color combinations/names
4) Food combinations you should never try (although I later changed this one to "I wouldn't want to try" as I don't like to tell people what they should or shouldn't do. I do, but I don't feel good about it. For the most part.)
5) Places I want to go and why.
6) My favorite pet names.
7) Jobs I wish I could do. (I'm betting "astronaut" is at the top of that list for almost everyone.)
8) People who are on the "Having Too Much Fun" list. (a list within a list)
9) Places I would like to live if I didn't like to live here
10) Amenities I would have in my Secret Sanctum (with map)
11) If the world was fair....
12) My own personal months of the year
13) Likewise, holidays (maybe incorporate these into one list, unless, like homework assignments, the double spacing doesn't quite get me to the full assigned length)
14) My top five desserts (top five deserts would just be too easy.)
15) If I had a store I would sell....

Keep in mind, I'm making an art journal to share with tweens. So some of the lists came out of my own, inner tween, who is finding it refreshing that I've finally decided to let her into the driver's seat for a while.

Gotta go, the tween is late and the adult is thinking that now I only have 5 minutes to shower and get ready for work. The tween is being quite distainful of the adult's concerns. I mean, really, who needs more than 5 minutes to shower, brush your teeth, throw on some clothes and get in the car. The adult is pretty sure that it will take at least 5 minutes to find her glasses which she is pretty sure she knows where they are but the last time it took a while before she found them perched on top of the underwear that she pulled out to wear but then forgot that she'd taken out and took out other undergarments instead. The tween has now rolled her eyes several times and is ignoring everyone.